The sarod veteran is proud of his 9-year-old grandsons, Zohaan and Abeer; says they have learnt a lot during the lockdown.
The pandemic has been extremely harsh for artistes across the world. But the last two years turned out to be positive for sarod legend Ustad Amjad Ali Khan on a personal level, as he saw his nine-year-old grandsons – Abeer and Zohaan Ali Bangash (musician Ayaan Ali Bangash’s twins) — grow musically. “It (teaching music) is an incomparable journey where the guru leads you from the visible to the invisible, from the material to the divine, from the ephemeral to the eternal. During the lockdown, Ayaan was able to spend a lot of time with Zohaan and Abeer and that was a great progress for them, musically. They played their first track, called Our Love, for my birthday in 2020, which was the greatest birthday present for me,” says Khan.
So, did he train them, too? “I always look forward to spending time with both my grandchildren. I teach them frequently. They need blessings and love to take forward the precious gift of music. For Our Love, they based their sarod composition on the traditional Raga Tilak Kamod. It is a composition that I had taught Amaan and Ayaan (Ali Bangash; sons and musicians) when they were the same age. The music video released on social media and it’s a kaleidoscope of their memories with me,” shares Khan.
Ahead of his at Mumbai’s Royal Opera House on May 1, the veteran admits that like all industries, the music industry, too, was badly hit due to the pandemic: “So many concerts and projects were invariably postponed and artistes all over the world lost their jobs.” But, he utilised the time positively by “reinventing” himself as a musician. “The lockdown allowed me a deeper connection with my music. With less distractions and no travelling, I was certainly able to meditate with music in a much profound manner,” he says.
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